If you or your child are suffering from constipation, then you know it can be a painful and irritable experience. Constipation is a common side effect of many medications or dietary issues that can limit your ability to have regular bowel movements.
However, it can also encompass more than just that.
It’s essential to address the underlying root causes, if possible, to heal this issue for good, but in the meantime, I want you to know you have options for treatment. Helpful alternatives. There are natural remedies you can try at home to help alleviate the discomfort. These alternatives can help get your digestive system moving and relieve the symptoms of constipation.
Our blog post will look into the true causes of constipation and how natural home remedies can help provide relief – read more to learn more!
What is Constipation?
The medical definition of constipation is the condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stools. According to the Rome IV criteria, which is widely used for diagnosing functional gastrointestinal disorders, constipation is defined as having at least two of the following symptoms for the past three months:
- Straining during more than 25% of bowel movements.
- Hard stools in more than 25% of bowel movements.
- A sensation of incomplete evacuation in more than 25% of bowel movements.
- Fewer than three bowel movements per week
Table of contents
- What is Constipation?
- Constipation: A Guide for Kids & Adults
- Top Safe + Natural alternatives for Children
- So what causes acute constipation in Adults
- What is the true cause of chronic constipation?
- Top healing foods for constipation relief
- A List of Beneficial Supplements to Help Gastrointestinal Issues Such as Constipation.
So what causes acute constipation in kids?
Did you know that up to 30% of children experience constipation? It’s more common than you think!
Children holding in their bowel movements or delaying going to the bathroom are the most common complaints pediatricians see.
Common Reasons & Signs of Constipation in Children
The top reasons kids hold in their bowel movements or delay going to the bathroom include feeling stressed or scared during potty training, being stuck in the car, fear of pain, or simply wanting to keep playing.
Constipation in kids can be caused by various factors, including dehydration due to insufficient hydration of electrolytes throughout the day, certain medications or excessive intake of dietary supplements, microbial imbalance or dysbiosis, and changes in the environment.
In most cases, a child may become constipated due to a combination of these factors.
But what are the signs of constipation in children?
Look out for irritability, pooping pellets, days without bowel movements, stomach aches, discomfort while trying to pass a bowel, loss of appetite, urinary tract infections, and even bedwetting or accidents during the day.
Remember, every child may show different signs, so it’s essential to pay attention to any unusual behavior. If you’re unsure or concerned, don’t hesitate to consult your trusted healthcare provider.
Top Safe + Natural alternatives for Children
You may have already tried Miralax if your child has been constipated for a while, as it is the most common medication pediatricians recommend. However, there are safer alternatives without the unwanted side effects that come with Miralax. Magnesium is one such option. Let’s delve deeper into the wonders of natural remedies.
Castor oil is an excellent alternative for babies, toddlers, and older children. By massaging the tummy with castor oil, the main fatty acid in the oil, ricinoleic acid, binds to receptors on the muscle cells of the intestinal walls.
This binding triggers the contraction of muscles in the intestines, facilitating bowel movements. For straightforward information about castor oil, including how it works in the body, how to use it, and the recommended brand, check out this informative post.
Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt baths can provide several benefits for your child’s digestive system. They relax the stomach muscles and soften the stool, making it easier for them to pass a bowel movement.
Additionally, these baths promote relaxation, better sleep, and an overall sense of well-being for kids. The suggested recommendation is to give your little one a 30-45 minute bath 3-4 times a week.
Coconut oil is a fiber-rich food that aids digestion and functions as a natural laxative. The suggested recommendation is to include a daily tablespoon of coconut oil in your child’s meals, such as in a smoothie.
Castor oil + Organic ginger essential oil
To create a soothing belly massage blend, combine a dime-sized amount of castor oil with 1-2 drops of organic ginger essential oil.
Next, gently massage the mixture in a clockwise direction on your child’s belly. This delightful blend not only offers numerous benefits but also promotes healthy bowel movements.
Magnesium citrate supplement
The magnesium citrate supplement is a mineral that supports muscles and nerves while also serving as a natural laxative by increasing water in the intestines.
Consult your primary care provider first for dosage if you plan to give this medication to your child.
Celery juice is a fantastic healing remedy that naturally stimulates peristaltic action.
If one is struggling with having a bowel movement or experiences chronic constipation, incorporating celery juice into your child’s daily routine can be incredibly beneficial. Check out this article for more details.
Powerful Tips to Manage Your Child’s Constipation
Each child’s needs are unique, and these methods can only assist, not cause a disadvantage. However, it is advisable to consult with a naturopathic pediatrician to determine the most effective plan for your child.
- Fresh fruit and Green leafy vegetables: Consuming meals rich in fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, and nutritious soups can promote good digestive health and regular bowel movements.
- Make time for movement: Finding time for exercise can be challenging, especially for busy adults. However, it’s equally important to ensure that our kids stay active and healthy. Encourage your child to engage in daily physical activity, such as taking a family walk after school or visiting the playground. These simple activities can make a big difference in promoting a healthy lifestyle for the whole family.
- It’s vital to stay hydrated: Ensure your child is well-hydrated. Water with freshly squeezed lemon is terrific. Coconut water is also very beneficial and filled with electrolytes, as well as freshly juiced apples, cucumbers, and freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Give them more opportunities: To offer your children more opportunities to get comfortable on the toilet, consider having them sit for 10 minutes in the morning or before bed. When my children were young, I found it helpful to give them a book or a magazine to look at during this time. This approach not only improves comfort but also promotes a positive and friendly experience.
- Consider a squatty potty: A squatty potty is especially beneficial for kids. It’s designed to naturally position your body in a squat while on the toilet, helping create a smoother pathway to pass bowel movements. But any step stool will work just fine. This position helps to improve comfort and encourages healthy bathroom habits.
So what causes acute constipation in Adults
Causes of acute constipation include certain medications, emotional stress, or nervousness, creating overtightening or spasming in the abdominal muscles around the small intestine and colon. Long car rides and long plane flights coupled with foods that are not friendly to regularity can also lead to short-term constipation.
Acute constipation in adults can have several causes, including:
- Lack of Hydration: Not hydrating with enough water/electrolytes can contribute to constipation.
- Lack of physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle or lack of regular exercise can slow down the digestive system and contribute to constipation.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as opioids, antacids, antidepressants, and iron supplements, can cause constipation as a side effect.
- Medical conditions: Constipation can be a symptom of certain medical conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hypothyroidism, diabetes, and neurological disorders.
- Changes in routine or lifestyle: Traveling, changes in daily routine, or ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement can disrupt normal bowel function and lead to constipation.
- Stress: High levels of stress or anxiety can affect digestion and contribute to constipation.
- Aging: As people age, the digestive system may slow down, leading to an increased risk of constipation.
Magnesium citrate supplement
Magnesium citrate is a crucial mineral that supports muscles and nerves in the body.
It increases water in the intestines, making it an effective natural laxative. *Dosage is essential. Talk to your primary care provider
The anti-inflammatory properties of blackseed oil may also help alleviate symptoms of constipation.
It balances your digestion and intestines, allowing your body to become less constipated. See the post here on Blackseed oil.
*This oil can slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore, individuals with bleeding disorders or taking medication that affects blood clotting, such as Heparin or Warfarin, should avoid use.
Castor oil + Organic ginger essential oil
Add three or more drops of ginger oil to castor oil and massage your belly clockwise.
Epsom salt baths
Bathing is a wonderful way to improve your well-being.
When you soak in an Epsom salt bath, it can help to relax your stomach muscles, making it easier to pass bowel movements.
It’s suggested to take a 30-45 minute bath 3-4 times a week to experience the benefits.
Celery juice naturally triggers peristaltic action and is a genuinely incredible healing remedy if you find it hard to have a bowel movement or suffer from chronic constipation. See this article for more details.
Epsom salt bath recipe For Adults
- 2 cups Epsom salt
- 2 cups baking soda
- Organic essential oils – Opt for soothing, skin-nourishing oils like lavender with Roman Chamomile. Chamomile essential oil mixed with lavender essential oil helps to relax the muscles in the abdominal part. This helps in improving gut motility and providing relief from sluggish bowel and bloating. It is also deeply calming to the nervous system and proven to aid with sleep–a relaxing yet reviving bath.
*Remember that essential oils are not water-soluble, so they won’t mix with water. Adding undiluted oils directly to the bath will result in oil droplets floating on the surface.
To correctly add essential oils to your bath and create a more desirable and calming experience, follow these simple steps:
- Blend 9-12 drops of the recommended essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as jojoba, coconut, or olive oil. For a less slippery feel, it is suggested to use fractionated coconut oil.
- After that, mix the oils with the Epsom salt and baking soda.
- Swirl the properly diluted blend into the bathwater before entering the bath.
Following these steps, you can safely enjoy your favorite essential oil or oil blend during your bath, creating a calming atmosphere and helping to relieve constipation and wind down before bed.
What is the true cause of chronic constipation?
Various factors can cause constipation. One crucial factor is a chronically sluggish and stagnant liver, which produces less bile and can become fatty due to the presence of toxic heavy metals, other toxins, and low-grade viral or bacterial infections in the liver and intestinal tract. Pathogenic infections in the gut can lead to narrowing or expansion in the small intestine and colon. Additionally, viral neurotoxins can cause inflammation of the nerve endings around the intestinal tract, slowing down peristaltic motion and even resulting in gastroparesis.
Moreover, a high-fat diet and the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and heavy metals can overload the liver. It is important to note that EBV’s cofactor bacteria, such as strep, often proliferate in the digestive tract, leading to inflammation in various parts of the gut. Furthermore, constipation can occur when EBV’s neurotoxins travel to the brain through the bloodstream, weakening the central nervous system and causing neurological fatigue. This fatigue slows down signals from the brain to the colon, affecting peristaltic action.
In addition, the lymphatic system surrounding the gut can become overwhelmed, resulting in lymphatic fluid buildup that exerts pressure against the intestines. This buildup slows down peristaltic action and creates narrower areas, making it more challenging for food to pass through. Moreover, undigested and improperly broken-down food, alongside pathogens, toxic debris, sludge, and heavy metals, can enter the ileum, causing inflammation in the final section of the small intestine and contributing to constipation. Notably, the ileum is the most common area of the intestine to be inflamed, and scar tissue can also form here. Any inflammation in the colon can cause slight kinking around its bends.
Addressing these factors is essential for alleviating constipation, as well as incorporating lifestyle changes like diet modification, hydration, exercise, and stress management to promote optimal digestive health.
- Rancid fats and proteins
- Toxic heavy metals
- Pathogens i.e. streptococcus
- Other toxins
Food that feeds viruses and unproductive bacteria
Chronic constipation is caused by food that nourishes viruses and unproductive bacteria in the small intestinal tract and colon, leading to inflammation. This condition can worsen with a high-fat/high-protein diet. Incorporating a healthier diet can help alleviate this issue and promote better digestion.
Food that feeds viruses and unproductive bacteria:
Top healing foods for constipation relief
Plums are not only delicious but also beneficial for various digestive disorders, including IBS, gastritis, and constipation. Incorporating them into your diet can help improve gastrointestinal health.
Brussels sprouts contain potent sulfur compounds that benefit the liver. They can assist in detoxifying and eliminating harmful toxins, promoting overall health. Additionally, these nutritious vegetables have the ability to break down stubborn toxins and inherited toxins in the body. Incorporating Brussels sprouts into your diet can be a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle.
Fresh cucumber juice (consumed alone):
Celery juice is an amazing remedy for constipation. It works by reducing inflammation in your intestinal tract, whether it’s chronic or acute. Incorporating celery juice into your routine can help alleviate constipation and improve your digestive health.
Cherries are a great way to sharpen the mind as they help purify the bowels and are even better at alleviating constipation compared to prunes. Enjoy the benefits of improved mind clarity and a healthy digestive system with cherries!
Lemon water provides essential vitamins like C and B, as well as minerals such as calcium and magnesium. In addition to supporting digestive health, it aids in relieving constipation, nausea, and even parasites. It’s a great natural remedy that promotes overall well-being.
Broccoli is a versatile powerhouse of nutrients, acting as an all-purpose multivitamin for the body. It is packed with bioavailable trace minerals and other essential nutrients that promote the optimal functioning of all body systems, including the immune system. Moreover, broccoli aids in the fight against bacteria and other bugs in the intestinal tract. Embrace the benefits of this friendly, positive superfood as part of your diet!
Grape skins contain powerful micronutrients that help eliminate parasites, mold, and other unproductive fungus from the intestinal tract. Moreover, they relieve constipation, making them highly beneficial for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
The highly bioavailable trace magnesium, along with phytochemical phenolic acids, effectively calms the central nervous system. Additionally, the fruit’s pulp soothes the stomach and intestinal lining, providing relief from constipation. This makes it a fantastic choice for promoting digestive health and overall well-being.
Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, mâché, and watercress can be beneficial for intestinal disorders. They contribute to a more alkaline stomach composition by increasing levels of beneficial hydrochloric acid. This helps eliminate unproductive bacteria that produce harmful acids, thus reducing the risk of GERD and other forms of acid reflux.
Aloe vera is not only a wonderful natural remedy, but it also possesses more than 70 trace minerals that work together with the phytochemical aloin to calm inflammation in the gut. This makes it an excellent aid for conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s, and colitis, providing relief and rejuvenation to the appendix and the ileum, which are critical parts of the intestinal tract.
Consuming Aloe vera offers a gentle colon cleanse and can be particularly helpful in relieving constipation. Check out this post for tips on how to use Aloe vera and experience its amazing benefits firsthand!
A List of Beneficial Supplements to Help Gastrointestinal Issues Such as Constipation.
If you are struggling with constipation or other gastrointestinal issues, you may benefit from supplements promoting digestive health. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of high-quality supplements that you can easily access by clicking on the links provided. Incorporating these supplements into your daily routine may have a positive impact on your overall well-being.
However, it’s essential to consult with your trusted medical practitioner to determine which options are best suited for your individual health needs.
- Celery force
- Amla berry
- Barley grass juice powder
- Cat’s claw
- Dandelion root tea
- EPA and DHA – plant based (fish free)
- Licorice root
- Magnesium glycinate
- Milk thistle
- Nettle leaf
- Peppermint tea
- Rose hips tea
- Vitamin C (as Micro-C)
- Wild blueberry powder
BEFORE BEGINNING A NEW SUPPLEMENT OR HEALTH ROUTINE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONSULT WITH A PRACTITIONER IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS.
THIS POST COMPRISES ADVANCED INFORMATION FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR AND LEADING HEALTH EXPERT ANTHONY WILLIAM.
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